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Lin Fu, Frederic K. Fung, Amy Cheuk-Yin Lo, Yau-Kei Chan, Kwok-Fai So, Ian Yat-Hin Wong, Kendrick Co Shih, Jimmy Shiu-Ming Lai; Transcorneal Electrical Stimulation Inhibits Retinal Microglial Activation and Enhances Retinal Ganglion Cell Survival After Acute Ocular Hypertensive Injury. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2018;7(3):7. doi: 10.1167/tvst.7.3.7.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the effect of transcorneal electrical stimulation (TcES) on retinal ganglion cell (RGC) function and survival after acute ocular hypertension-related retinal injury in gerbil eyes.
Gerbil eyes were subjected to acute ocular hypertensive injury (80 mm Hg for 60 minutes). In the treatment group, TcES was applied to the surgical eye immediately and then twice weekly for a total of 1 month. In the control group, sham TcES was given to the surgical eye at the same time points. Retinal function was assessed and compared between groups using flash electroretinography. For histological analysis, the number of RGC and microglial cells were counted by immunofluorescence staining after the gerbils were sacrificed on day 7 and day 28. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis were conducted to compare expression of interleukin (IL)-10, IL-6, COX-2, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and NF-κB phosphorylation among groups.
TcES-treated eyes had significantly higher RGC survival at 1 month compared to controls. This was associated with RGC function. Furthermore, TcES-treated eyes were shown to have increased IL-10 expression, with a corresponding reduction in IL-6 and COX-2 expression as well as reduction in NF-κB phosphorylation. This was associated with a suppression in microglial cell activation in TcES-treated eyes.
Early treatment with TcES in gerbils protected the RGC from secondary damage and preserved retinal function in acute ocular hypertensive injury through modulation of the microglial-cell activated local inflammatory response.
Our study strengthens the argument for translating TcES as a viable treatment in acute glaucoma.
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